“most churches don’t intentionally exclude people with disabilities. But because the world is, by default, a poor fit for people with disabilities, the church is also a poor fit, unless we intentionally include people of all abilities.” – Ryan Faulk joniandfriends.org/the-largest-unreached-people-group-youve-never-heard-of
We encourage church and mission leaders to think not only of mission among those with a disability, but to recognize, affirm and facilitate the missional calling of believers with disabilities themselves as part of the Body of Christ. The Cape Town Commitment II-B-4
Sadly we can end up excluding many people, unless we are intentional about doing more to include them.
EMDC.online has hosted a number of Bible Storying Cafés, the latest of which discussed “Making the Bible accessible to those with disabilities” and was led by Pat Duff of Reason to Hope. Pat will share more in a future post but the discussion prompted me to think more at how the church and society listens to, supports, and includes the one in seven people that have some form of disability – that number quoted by Lausanne Disability Concerns Network may seem high but there are a wide range of disabilities.
There are many excellent resources that could be shared, one I recently discovered from a UK Government website is a set of posters ” showing the dos and don’ts of designing for users with accessibility needs including autism, blindness, low vision, D/deaf or hard of hearing, mobility and dyslexia”. The posters have already been reproduced in several languages and are shared with a creative commons licence that allows for further translation and adaptation. The accompanying blog post is also worth a read. It states: “the aim of the posters is to raise awareness of various conditions through good design practice. We need to be mindful of not just designing or building for our own immediate needs.”
The posters and the other links shared today might spark more reflection, prayer, and action. Join the conversation via facebook.com/EMDCcommunity